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Trying to save money can feel like a daunting task. Whether it’s for a new house, emergency fund, or a vacation, it can be confusing to know where and how to start saving. Here at Community Lending of America, we came up with some simple ways for you to start saving money that could change your life.

Saving money doesn’t have to feel impossible; we’re here to help.

Saving is a balancing act, figure out what you’re saving for first to stay more motivated. One way to guarantee excess income is to pay down some debts. Once you’ve eliminated monthly payments on a credit card, you can put that extra money in savings. You will be shocked at how quickly it adds up.

To stay motivated, and monitor that you are reaching your goals, keep a record of your expenses. To avoid confusion, write down each of your expenses in a specific category. These categories could be home utilities, car, insurance, entertainment, food, gas, rent, etc. Keep your list with you, and then you can track each expense as you make purchases and pay bills.

When we pay with everything on our cards, it’s hard to visualize the actual money you’re spending.

Try using cash as much as you can for a certain amount of time. You can even label your expenses on envelopes and then pay directly from them. Then you see how much money you have and won’t be able to overspend. It may take some getting used to, but if you stick with this system for even one month, you will notice a considerable difference.

Sometimes cutting down certain expenses is not enough, and you have to make more significant sacrifices. These cuts could be moving to a less expensive home, canceling your cable, not going out for an extended amount and eating at home more often. If you are renting, try to invite someone to share the place with you so that you can split the rent.

Saving money doesn’t mean only cutting expenses. It can also mean earning a little more by opening an interest-bearing savings account. You can also pick up extra shifts at your job and find an additional job on the side. You could do anything from dog sitting, cleaning, selling items you don’t use on facebook marketplace, etc.

The keys to saving money are discipline and self-control.

Your success will come from setting a goal and sticking to it. If you need additional help or financial advice, we’d be happy to help you! We would also love to hear from you and the ways that you have saved extra money!